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Publisher's Summary

From Congressman Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" gaffe to the high school rapists of Steubenville, Ohio, to the furor at Vanderbilt, sexual violence has been so prominent in recent years that the feminist term "rape culture" has finally entered the mainstream. But what exactly is it? And how do we change it?

In Asking for It, Kate Harding answers those questions in the same blunt, no-nonsense voice that has made her a powerhouse feminist blogger. Combining in-depth research with practical knowledge, Asking for It makes the case that 21st-century America - where it's estimated that out of every 100 rapes only five result in felony convictions - supports rapists more effectively than victims. Harding offers ideas and suggestions for addressing how we as a culture can take rape much more seriously without compromising the rights of the accused.

©2015 Kate Harding (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Jo Green
  • Cordova, TN, United States
  • 11-17-16

Clear, concise, and thought provoking.

Kate Harding has laid out clearly what women go through. If you read the book you will get the point of view of the victims in a very well presented manner. The narrator was easy to listen to, had pleasant voice, and it seemed as though I was hearing the voice of the writer. Definitely worth the listen if you have any women in your life that you love. I felt this book presented thoughts that many women/victims have, but it voiced them for us in a fearless way.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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powerful

This is an excellent critique of contemporary western culture's general interpretation of rape. the author is particularly adroit at deconstructing the myths that form our notions of what constitutes rape. she balances intellectual analysis with irreverent sarcasm to great effect. I do, however, wish there had been a deeper/broader treatment of the a priori relationship dynamics between rapist and victim, or at least an examination of the contextual and psychological details involved. this kind of inclusion could help readers understand some of the circumstantial nuances and individual assumptions that take place within specific rape/victim contexts. there is a continuum, for instance, between flirtation, arousal, and consent that is often inconsistent. complicated by the conflict between cultural norms, personal values, and physical desires, sexual behavior is often difficult to understand and interpret. these are the unexplored moments that feed the myth cycle and result in victims feeling guilty & rapists feeling wrongly accused. although the author does discuss these ideas, the topic could use deeper analysis. perhaps in another book?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyed having my sentiments echoed

I loved this. it's a great modern day feminist work about the pervasiveness of rape culture. it's accurate and thoughtful without being pedantic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent work

Absolutely loved all of it. The content, narrator, you name it. I honestly don't know how even the most vehement MRA could argue with the factual information this book contains. The cognitive dissonance we have regarding our perception of women and their role in society is alarming, to say the least. Ms. Harding does a masterful job of using facts, not anecdotes, to demonstrate how far we've come, yet how much further we must go to protect ourselves & the generations of women to come.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Such an important book on an important topic

Would you listen to Asking for It again? Why?

I already have. It's one of those that when I got to the end I started over again.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

As a lifelong feminist I am no stranger to the concept of rape culture. However, this book brought sharply into focus the current incarnation of systemic rape culture - how our institutions around law enforcement, professional sports, education, and media support and propagate rape culture. I appreciate the author's stated focus on staying away from telling too many individual stories of rape (important though that may be) except for those that illustrate a point she is making. In our hyper-connected world, it is extremely important that we look critically at how our institutions help create and propagate rape culture. And I'm also so glad she ended with what should be giving us hope that now that we've started exposing rape culture we can find a way to limit it.

What does Erin Bennett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Erin Bennett expertly handles the author's wit and humor. This can be some pretty horrifying concepts to hear about, and the levity provided by the author's wit is very helpful in getting through all of it without feeling overwhelmed.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I suppose "all of them" is not a useful answer. I suppose the most devastating part of the book is the statistical discussion of law enforcement officers attitudes towards those that report rape.

Any additional comments?

Anyone who is a potential victim of rape (also know as "everyone") or knows someone who could be a potential victim of rape (everyone, again) should read this book.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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understanding rape culture, 101 level

Concise, accessible, with concrete examples and tools. Kate Harding sheds light on how systemic rape culture affects our everyday lives, and how we can push back.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Timely and we'll thought out book

This book does an amazing job of putting to words the problems with society and our culture of rape. Kate Harding also describes consent and how it should be in a clear way. I have recommended this book. to my teenage children and my adult family, friends, and co-workers.

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  • SG
  • 09-21-17

Rape Culture Is Still Entrenched

The author reports on various cases of sexual assault in recent news. Sadly, American culture continues to denigrate & blame victims for "asking for it" by their choice of clothes, alcoholic consumption, the places they go, their physical existence as females. Rape is a criminal act whether perpetrated by a spouse or stranger. There is no mitigation except that dominant culture continues to accept the notions that "boys will be boys," that husbands own their wives, that "no means yes," that "he said, she said" is zero sum, that employers or teachers who have power can demand sex, etc. As long as we continue to wink & pretend that aggressive, violent, non-consensual sexual assault is "normal" behavior, rape culture will remain entrenched. We need accurate sex education in the schools & in the public square to teach people to respect sexual boundaries. The hypocrisy of religious organizations that denies sexuality continues to feed into rape culture. The author is pessimistic but encourages victims & their supporters to speak up, prosecute rapists, publicize the issues, demand legislation to protect women & penalize rapists. Men & teenaged boys should read this book.

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Pretty Good

I really liked the topic and it was interesting to hear what cases happened.
It can be a bit much to listen to if you are listening straight through. I would definitely listen for one chapter then be done for the day.
I wish there was more about what we can do to change rape culture.
The narrator's voice also gets to be a little much sometimes, not hitting the humor quite right.
Good listen overall though!

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The most important book I've read all year!

I loved the message of
this book. It opened my eyes to situations I hadn't considered. This is a must read for all; teens on up.